Decoding DOT HAZMAT Training
Should Your Employees Undergo DOT HAZMAT Training?
When it comes to ensuring its longevity for years to come, your business can’t afford to fall behind on health and safety compliance. This means staff must be up to date on all industry standards and any other Environmental, Health & Safety requirements for their positions.
One way to achieve health and safety compliance at a facility that handles hazardous materials is to have employees to attend DOT HAZMAT training. However, not all of your employees need to be certified in this particular area.
If you’re interested in learning more about DOT HAZMAT training and wondering how to determine whether your employees should attend, keep reading.
What Is DOT HAZMAT Training?
In the US, all HAZMAT shipments that leave your facility must comply with the US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations, also known as Title 49 in the United States Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR). As a result, DOT HAZMAT Training is mandatory for all staff—including both employees and managers—who prepare hazardous materials or hazardous waste for transport, regardless of the extent of their involvement.
Forgoing HAZMAT training at your facility is not a time-saving shortcut—doing so can be disastrous. DOT HAZMAT rules are rigorous and severe, with penalties for non-compliance reaching amounts as high as over $80,000 per day per violation.
The DOT requires certain categories of HAZMAT employee-specific training, including:
- General awareness training
- Function-specific training
- Safety training
- Security awareness training
- Security plan training
- Driver training
Who Needs DOT HAZMAT Training?
DOT HAZMAT training rules apply to any company with employees who perform any function in any way regulated by the US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). These functions include:
- Offering hazardous materials or hazardous waste for transportation
- Packaging, labeling, or marking hazardous materials for transportation
- Loading or unloading vehicles transporting hazardous materials
- Transporting hazardous materials
- Receiving or forwarding packages containing hazardous materials
- Manufacturing packaging to be used in transporting hazardous materials
- Testing hazardous material packaging
All companies, regardless of size, must undergo training. This includes self-employed people who ship hazardous materials as part of their occupation.
In addition, every HAZMAT employer must train each of their HAZMAT employees, including supervisors and contractors. A HAZMAT employee is anyone who directly affects hazardous materials or hazardous waste transportation safety in the course of their employment.
How Often Is DOT HAZMAT Training Required?
According to 49 CFR 172.704(c)(2), employees must repeat DOT HAZMAT training at least every three years. This recurring training must include formal testing, recordkeeping, and repeating the course in its entirety (e.g., not just “refreshing” the course). If an employee surpasses the three-year mark without being re-trained, they cannot perform any HAZMAT-related employee functions until they complete training.
In addition, HAZMAT employee training must be updated any time DOT issues a new or revised rule related to the duties of a particular employee. The employee must complete training before performing a function affected by the new or revised rule.
An employee must also undergo updated training if their job duties change and these duties are subject to DOT regulation.
How Vision Environmental Can Help with DOT HAZMAT Training
If your field or occupation requires you to have a HAZMAT certification, such as routine DOT HAZMAT training, Vision Environmental can help. We are committed to offering the highest standard of health & safety compliance services, including hazardous materials training, HAZWOPER requirements training, chemical storage safety requirements training, and more.